tv Charlie Rose PBS January 24, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with secretary of state hillary clinton on capitol hill. answering tough questions about what happened in benghazi, libya, when four americans were killed. joining us david ignatius of "washington post." and michael gordon of the "new york times." >> what today provided was the drama of secretary clinton in her final major appearance defending herself, defending the administration, and getting very emotional and very feisty. and i think what we took away from this was how intense feelings are on both sides. the republicans really went after her today, and she-- she-- she pushed back hard. >> rose: we conclude this evening with the a look at the surprising elections in israel
with david remnick, mort zuckerman, and dennis ross. >> i don't want us to be deluded and think because lapid somehow got an outsized amount of votes suddenly the country has moved dramatically to the left. it has not. it has not. and i think we need to have a more tragic sense of what's going on in terms of the palestinian question, which is the one that concerns us the most. certainly it is in the top three of the big questions about israel. and there's not going to be dramatic movement on that at all. >> rose: what happened in benghazi, and the israeli elections when we continue.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with secretary of state clinton on capitol hill. lawmakers questions her earlier today about the september 11, 2012 attacks on the american consulate in benghazi, libya. four americans were killed that day, including ambassador christopher stevens. secretary clinton's testimony
had been post toned until now. she took responsibility and emsized her commitment to improving diplomat security abroad. >> as i have mentioned many times i take responsibility and nobody is more committed to getting this right. i am determined to leave the state department and our country safer, stronger, and more secure. now, taking responsibility meant moving quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis, but, also, to further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world. it meant launching an independent investigation to determine exactly what happened in benghazi and to recommend steps for improvement and it meant intensifying our efforts to cat combat terrorism and figure out effective ways to support emerging democracies in north africa and beyond. >> rose: she was overcome with emotion as she recalled receiving the bodies of the deceased service members. >> for me this is not just a matter of policy.
it's personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children. >> rose: questions about the accuracy of the administration's initial depiction of the events elicited a heated response. >> the fact is we had four dead americans. >> i understand. >> was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out fair walk one night who decided they'd go kill some americans. what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from everything happening again, senator. >> rose: secretary clinton's testimony today may be her last major appearance in a diplomatic role. she hands over the reigns to senator john kerry after his confirmation. joining me now from washington, david ignatius of the "washington post." later we'll talk to michael gordon of the "new york times."
david, as you watched this today, did it answer all the questions? >> well, it was-- it was a very lively exchange. most of the answers in truth have come out in the details, the report by the accountability review board, and the systematic timeline that it offered. what today provided was the drama of secretary clinton and her final major appearance defending herself, defending the administration, and getting very emotional and very feisty. and i think what we took away from this was how intense feelings are on both sides. the republicans really went after her today, and she-- she-- she pushed back hard. >> rose: did they, as they say,a lay a glove on her? >> well, i think on the basic issues here, benghazi, the republicans have a point. as the accountability review board report says, staffing for diplomat security was grossly
inadequate. repeated requests came from benghazi for more diplomatic security officers to go to benghazi and guard that very ill-constructed compound. nothing happened. the decisions taken by the ambassador, who tragically died, chris stevens, were-- were-- were-- were unfortunate looking back. he shouldn't have been in benghazi in the way he was on that day, september 11. and then finally, senator mccain stressed why wasn't there some u.s. military power available to come to the rescue of the people who were trapped in the embassy annex so that people wouldn't have ended up dying on the roof essentially unable to protect themselves against the mortar fire they were taking. and you could see, he's still angry about it. >> rose: the other thing he considered unacceptable was her response with senator johnson
when she said, "what difference does it make?" >> i thought that was an especially poignant response from secretary clinton. and it reflected an uncertainty to this day, i'm told among intelligence officers who have reviewed the evidence they have of what happened that night, believing it or not, they still don't know precisely how that attack came to happen. they know there were terrorists who were associated with al qaeda, were part of the group. they know there were others who kind of wandered into the scene. and when secretary clinton said, "what difference does it make exactly how it came together, let's find it and punish them." she was speaking out of frustration but also out of this uncertainty that's in the intelligence itself. >> rose: there is also this notion that secretary clinton did not read a cable, which she
acknowledged. >> well, she-- she, she said that the requests that came in for more diplomatic security in benghazi had not come to her attention. she said that that's ordinary standard procedure for it to be handled at lower levels, but the buck stops with her. what happened in benghazi showed that the state department wasn't taking security seriously enough. four people ended up losing their jobs because of it. the republicans have wanted to take accountability to a higher level-- namely, to secretary clinton-- and they had their chance to do taid to do it, at least rhetorically. >> rose: there was a question of whether they were fired or whether they were simply suspended. what's the right answer? >> yes, there's a technical detail. it varies with the different people precisely what it was. but it was not as emphatic as the republicans would like to say. they had like to see more scalps, if you will. they'd like to see people punished in a more visible way and accountability go higher.
>> rose: do you have any sense that the secretary wanted to avoid this? my imtregz pregz was she knew it was out there and she might have been eager to come in and make her case, and fully in front of the american people, as well as those members of the house and senate, that she took responsibility and they planned to implement the reforms, giving her a forum to say what she said separately but in different places. >> she came prepared today to be very aggressive in defending herself and the department. i thought she looked clearly as if she'd recovered from the-- the-- the-- the fall that she'd had and the-- the -- >> rose: cop cushion. >> the concussion that she'd had. she looked good. she was very aggressive and emphatic. it was long testimony before the two senate and house. did she look forward to a chance to defend herself? i can't imagine this would have been the way she would have
chosen to leave, the most visible thing before the american public before she leaves after what many, even many critics have said was a distinguished period as secretary of state. she leaves under a bit of a cloud with the republicans really coming after her. i've wondered, carl are charlie was bloody the secretary a little bit in anticipation she's going to be a candidate in 2016, and they're going to lay down this marker that as secretary of state she may have done a lot of good things, but on her record is benghazi. >> rose: what did she accomplish as secretary of state? >> well, first, i think she did the basic job of representing the united states abroad tirelessly and well. she was very good in public forums. she would-- when she visited countries like pakistan, meet with audiencees, take questions, be very visible.
as secretary, she did not have a record of substantial negotiation-- a la henry kissinger, jim baker. it's hard to find things like that on in her record, but on representational side, very strong performance. also in terms of being loyal to president obama. the obama white house was concerned in the beginning, that this superstar, part of team clinton, was going to over-shadow the president and the white house. they were very controlling sometimes in how they methods foreign policy, but secretary clinton never stepped on anybody's toes. she always left it to the president to take the lead on things. so i think that was a sign that she was a team player. i find, charlie, more people from both parties today saying that they thought she did a good job, and that she showed that she has real depth.
then you would have found four years ago. >> rose: clearly it enhanced her reputation. >> i think so. >> rose: when you look forward to the service of john kerry, assuming what most people believe the obvious confirmation because he's of the senate himself, will he be a different secretary of state? >> would expect, charlie, that you'll see a little bit more of the back-channel negotiating style that we associate with a kissinger or jim bake frer senator kerry. he thinks that we need a period of quiet can diplomacy to explore options, to see if there's some way to negotiate some kind of deal over the nuclear issue with iran, to explore some way with russia to get a negotiated political transition in syria. and i think he is a believer i in-- in the back-channel side of being secretary of state. so that will be a different tone. he's also going to be like senator clinton, a well-known,
kind of, you know, former presidential level candidate for the united states. >> rose: we continue our conversation about the hearings today in washington request are with michael gordon of the "new york times." michael, you know secretary clinton and you also know senator kerry who is likely to be confirmed as secretary of state. will there be a difference? i think there will be a lot of continuity on substance. she had a persona as a global figure and a certain degree of charisma that i think she'l he'll lack. and she did play a role as the obama administration would assert in restoring the american image, but i think there will be more points of continuity than discontinuity. >> rose: how do you assess her four years? >> >> well, i think she was good at restoring the american image. i think she trafd a lot.
she went to 112 countries. i think she had some success in asia. but i don't think she or the obama administration has many notable diplomatic accomplishiments. the syria problem is-- seemed. the middle east situation seems pretty much stalled out. can. >> rose: do you believe benghazi will be a cirrus law on her record? >> i think it is a flaw. but i don't think it will be a lasting flaw. it was a systemic breakdown. there was an independent review that established there was a lot of culpability of a lot of people on the sixth floor of the state department, but she was on the seventh floor, and
certainly, her posture has been she accepts responsibility for what happened but not blame, and that's pret much what played out today in two hearings. she was uncharacteristically emotional in describing the death of the four americans. so i don't think it's going to be an impediment to what everybody assumes are her longer term political ambitions to run for the presidency. >> rose: what struck you about the testimony today that was noteworthy? >> well, there was very little that shed new light on the white house role. you know, there was an independent review conducted of what the-- how the state department handled it because it's required by statute. there's no such statute for how the n.s.c. handled it. it would be interesting if there was. i don't think woe learned a lot about that or why the pentagon was so ill prepared, had no forces in region on the anniversary of 9/11. but, you know, i think it was largely a political exercise for
republicans trying-- they know who she is, and what her broader aspirations are likely to be. and they tried to rebuke her, and i think she handled herds pretty deftly under the circumstances. and she, for example, defended susan rice while at the same time suddenly distancing herself from ambassador rice's comment. >> rose: basically saying we don't know. is that what she said? >> well what, she said was ambassador rice shouldn't be faulted for saying the attack was sort of stemmed from a protest in front of compound, but then she pointed out she, secretary which the, had not in fact made such assertions and from the beginning blamed it on militants. i think her statement was pretty carefully prepared. and, again, she starts off by take responsibility and saying she's implementing all of the
recommendations but she makes clear she didn't see the numerous cables that came in. that was the point of predict with the lawmakers. they wanted to know how someone who was taking responsibility could at the same time say she was distanced from all of the requests coming in from libya. >> rose: clearly there are questions, you know, about the future of iraq how do you think they view our role around the world? >> if you're asking me, i think president obama thought united states was over-extended military low, not just in terms of the sheer number of troops but in terms of the exposure and risk to american interests. and i think the white house is essentially agnorfolk-- aggnostic of the value on maintaining a minimal force in iraq. in the end they were talking about a force of 3,000 to 5,000
including special operations. but i think the way they played the iraq end game didn't work out well from an american standpoint and it's one reason iran has been flying hundreds of tons of arms to the assad regime through iraqi airspace because there's basically a security vacuum in iraq right now from an international standpoint. >> rose: david what, do you think about the next four years? >> i think president obama made clear during the campaign that he wants to believe the president who ended the wars, including his own surge in afghanistan. the president was bringing the troops home. i think there's an understanding at the pentagon that the era of expeditionary wars a la iraq and afghanistan is over. the question is who is left behind as american military power pulls back? and the administration has signaled strongly that it-- it-- it is prepared to go to a zero number of troops in afghanistan
post-2014 just as ended up being the case in iraq, whatever precisely it wanted. and '05 just been out in the region visiting india and saudi arabia, and there is a lot of uncertainty about what this means for powers in the region, how the vacuum in afghanistan will be filled. whether the taliban will be resurgent, whether the government in afghanistan that will succeed president karzai's will be able to stand. those issues when you push the white house on them i tend to get people saying, look, we're ending these wars. we'll dole with what comes down the road. but we're not going to be deterred from our course. they think thos crucial strategically. they think they're in the business of reestablishing america's image abroad pre-9/11. reestablishing america's alliances and they think they've
done that in the first four years and they want to continue it. and finally, the thing that is at the center of the white house's strategic thinking is this idea of rebalancing american power toward asia to dole with the rising china. they don't want anything to get in the way of that, even to the point of leaving what a lot of people fear is a vacuum of american power in areas that traditionally have been crucial to have american power, like the middle east. >> rose: but there's also, when you lock at who is happening in mali and you lock at sort of things that are happening in africa and the emergence of al qaeda there, a new threat. how do they see that, motorcyclele? >michael? >> i think there are different perspectives in the administration. one thing that was striking about secretary clinton's testimony is she did emphasize the dangers of al qaeda-affiliated groups in africa like al qaeda and the
islamic magreb, one of the mali-based groups. i think the white house is less proactive but they've come along after the french tock action there. i do think that the pivot is an interesting idea conceptually, but i don't think there's going to be much reality to it as long as the iranian question remains unresolved. as long as there's a prospect of a military confrontation with iran, either on the part israelis or possibly on the part of the united states if the negotiations don't get anywhere, and right now there are no negotiation. i don't stow realistically how theious can swing military resources to the pacific and in fact, it's not in any significant way at this point. >> rose: who is going on in iran in terms of the debate about nuclear, inside iran? >> obviously, iran is a-- an opaque place for americans but
from people i talk to, the first thing you'd say is that where iran had many diffuse, competing centers of power several years ago, ayatollah khomeini is totally in charge today and he has not given any signal, that i am aware of, that he is prepared for the kind of engagement the u.s., before the election, was expecting would follow the election, would follow an obama victory. that hasn't happened. and so i think michael is rote that we're heading toward a period in which confrontation, even military confrontation, is possible. woe keep waiting for this diplomatic moment. certainly, senator kerry, if he becomes secretary of state, has been-- has been thinking about this for-- for years and i think that would be a at the very top
of his agenda. how do you explore a way to negotiated conversation. the sphriens tehran, so far as we can read them, sanctions are tough, but they don't seem to be changing iranian behavior yet. >> rose: is that your assessment, michael, even though the sanctions have been effective to a degree, there have not been changed behavior and their timeexploin their timetable moves apace? >> yes, i basically agree with that. i think when the administration says the iran policy is effective what, they mean is they've lined up support for sanctions and they're hurting the iranian economy. but the-- unfortunately, the-- what hasn't yet happened is it hasn't slowed down the program to a point where people can be comfortable about it, and there doesn't yet appear to be a significant diplomatic opening. >> rose: and the centrifuges are spinning. >> the next six to eight months people say will be an important time.
it will be after the israeli election, which was yesterday, and before, perhaps, the iranian election. so poem stoims say the next six months are decisive, but perhaps these six months may actually be disoifs. >> rose: what is amazing to me-- if you think about it you had the israeli election, the u.s. election, the choice change in power, and you have iranian elections coming up. so it suggests that, you know, no matter how debates go, there are always new forces entering them which can have now agendas and new responsibilities and you never know how any of that might change, and that's what makes it so interesting. thank you, michael gordon. thank you david ignatius. >> thanks, charlie,. >> thank you. israel went to the polls yesterday "p" benjamin
netanyahu'slitude party lost major ground joining me is dennis ross, counselor at the washington institute for nearest policy. david remnick, editor of the "the new yorker" magazine. he wrote last week's cover story. and mort zuckerman, editor in chief of "us news & world report." and the owner of the "new york daily news." and i am pleased to have all of them on this program. so my question is to each of
you, what happened? >> well, the yair lapid victory, or near victory, or coming in second i think is a reaction-- he's a centrist. he's not center-left. he sits on kind of the right side of the center. he's a tv figure-- no offense. he entered politics last year. he resigned from channel 2 last year. his father was a journalist and politician as well. and i think tel aviv and like-minded coastal sees. >> rose: there was a big turnout? >> woke up because they feared a real right-wing-- not just the hard right of the likud but also the this other party, and somes religious parties were going to form an even more right-wing coalition, and people who feared the increasing isolation of israel, political isolation, and economic isolation, who fear things like boycotts -- >> rose: and who fear the end of the possibility of a two. state solution. >> as a result, a distancing
from europe and the united states, all those people went to the polls in much greater number than they would have and gave these centrists -- and some of the left-wing party more votes than they had any reason to expect? >> rose: port, what happened. >> i think the appeal of bebe has diminished. what he was proposing and the way he was promoting them did not work well. there was a diminution of the role he was going to play particularly in an election campaign. he was the odds-on favorite, but in the last several months, what he is proposing is not working. it is part of what you were saying before, he was alienating a lot of people, including the president of the united states, which doesn't sit well in israel, no matter what people say. >> rose: especially if he's he's re-elected. >> rells expect the israeli prime minister to have a good relationship with the american president prt. it's lost on no one the relationship between bebe and obama is cool and distant.
>> rose: there is the factor did netanyahu campaign on issues concern to most reallies, focusing more on iran, which is a concern, but by not including a whole range of economic issues, and all the military role of the ultra-orthodox. >> yes, i think the ultra-orthodox and their place in israeli society is now come under a very different kind of scrut 93, and people are coming to a very different conclusion that a lot of the particular rights that they have, both what they do and what they don't do, are just not fair, and certainly that was what was important in the emergence of this party because they were saying, "look, we've got to have the orthodox play their fair share, pay a fair share and play a fair share in what's going "o." >> we should probably give some background. it's a complicated picture. there are two extremes of orthodox in the pick. there are religious nationalists who live in the settlements and live throughout israel why where-- if you'll forgive me-- where it matters.
and they go to the military in increasing numbers. that's represented by neftali bennett. the others were allowed to control matters of religion and birth and marriage, and it was thought by ben gurren that these people who were already small in number and fairly isolated would eventually play themselves out. the early secular zionists thought the ultra-orttext would kind of die out. they didn't. they have lots of babies and their families grow and grow, and, "therefore, their proportion is larger. they don't serve in the military. they get enormous subsidies so that their kids can just study and not entertain mainstream of society. and main stream israeli society-- not just secular society-- is tired of that. they're tired of footing the bill. they're tired of seeing their kids serve in the military and not their kids. and yair lapid exemplifies it.
>> rose: dennis, weigh in now, having listened to both of them, and you've spent as much time as anybody i know representing the united states in the region. >> i agree with pretty much both what david and port said. let me just add a couple of point, one, picking up on the last theme of sharing the burden. you you know, there is a joke that has gone around israel for some time that a third of the people pay taxes, a third of the people work, and a third of the people go in the army and the problem is they're all the same third. ( laughter ) what you actually found now is people saying enough. the fact is you had-- bebe made a deal with kadima, created a broadbased government, and they were going to resolve this question of the haridi serving in the military and what the fair burden would be. and a commission worked out something and in the end, the prime minister decided that he felt that the character of that deal just was not one he could live with. i think that came back to haunt
him in a fairly big way. so i think, number one, it's sharing the burden in a sense that if the country was going to go to the right the way it appeared to be, there was going to be no sharing of the burden. secondly, i think there is a sense of the main stream in israel feeling, wait, the character of likud, when benny baggan can't qualify for the list, when dan meriddor can't qualify for the list, the people who are on that list, they're not us. and yet they're going to run the country? so i think you had the main stream reacting to that as well. it's not only sharing the burden it's also what is our identity. the third point i think relates more to the issue of ensuring that only that israel isn't isolated but one other point-- israel should attain its jewish, zionist, character. the zionist ethic is to be jewish and democratic. when you listened to bennett, what was most important to him was to control 60% of the west
bank and to an exit and pretty much wish away the demographic problem. and here again i think the main stream in israel reacted to that. that's why you see a loss in terms of the right's vote but also why you see the emergence of someone like lapid, who i think made all these issues a kind of theme. and it's interesting, the votes really went to him and much less to labor. shelly yachimovich ran mostly on the socioeconomic issue which in fact resonated with many, but so did lapid and he focused more on sharing the burden and i think that's why he tended to benefit more than anyone glels i want to first ask what caned coalition of bebe put together? >> he will have to react to the election results and it will be more moderate and it will include lapid, i think. i don't want us to be deluded and think because yair lapid somehow got an out-outsized
amount of votes, that suddenly the country has moved dramatically to the left. it has not. it has not. and i think we need to have a more tragic sense of what's going on in terms of the palestinian question, which is the one that concerns us the most. certainly, it is the top three of the big questions about israel. and it's not going to be dramatic movement on that at all. >> rose: even lapid says sade he's against any division of jerusalem. >> well, any division of jerusalem, right of return is off the table, as it is for nearly all israelis. but you've also got a divided palestinian polity, with hamas in place and gaza, way weakening palestinian authority in west bank. and, quite frankly, unless the united states-- and this is, obviously, a question for dennis ross, above all-- unless the united states is prepared to make a dramatic proposal and to do everything it possibly can to bring these two sides together,
to end an occupation and to have a secure peace, which is what is most at the heart of it for israelis and a humane end to this occupation for-- which is what concern cans palestinians, then really nothing's going to happen here. you're going to have two people on the other side of the wall with periods of conflict and a possible third intifada. the this election is not going to pay that. >> rose: ...who did do well and who didn't do well changes the negotiating stance with the palestinians? >> if i were in the white house i would think it was a less horrible result-- >> one of the things you said i'm not sure i agree to. i don't think the country was as far right as you implied. i think this election shows us this country wasn't as far ride rite. it isn't as if the new candidates and new parties had all this great experience. it's just that they didn't want what was apparently going to be the end, as you say, what some people were suggest, you'd have
a very hard-right government alls coot board and i don't think the country is there. they all understand, i think, that something has to be done vis-a-vis the palestinians. there is another huge issue and that is the palestinians do not want to talk to netanyahu's government and i know that has been the case and i believe dennis will confirm that. that has been a huge problem. it's gone back for quite a while. that government did a lot of things for the p.l.o., including, for example, giving them a huge amount of money because they were broke. this is not money they were obligated. they were trying to keep the p.l.o. going. it didn't have any benefit for them-- >> the likud party, though, and the likud party making with avigdor lieberman-- cannot can be paint as some sort of moderate entity here. i mean, the likud list has gotten increasingly hard right. bebe ran a campaign that was to appeal to the right. yes, he gave a speech years ago where he opened the door for a
palestinian state. but that was years ago, and he's almost been forgiven -- >> rose: it was, like three years ago. okay. >> he may-- let's be clear, when he had the broadbased government last gine, he made a speech where he said two things he had not said before. he said number one peace with the palestinians is not a favor we do the palestinians. it's in our strategic interest. number two he said we will not become a binational case, the one time he came out publicly not withstanding the attitude of the base of his party had been, and acknowledged there's a demographic issue here and you're going to have to deal with it. i do think in a strange way he became left to most of his own party. in is this election he became increasingly concern about benet and tried to preempt his appeal. the irony we've seen is again what this election is about is about accept the rifts doing well. david, you're right, this is not about the country going to the
left. but it's also about the country not going to the right. >> the central dilemma here is this-- in polling dilemma-- 65% of the israeli public is for a two-state solution, 65%. 65% of the israeli public also does not believe they have a real negotiating partner in the palestinians and they believe nothing is going to happen any time soon. on the palestinian side you have similar majorities. 65%, 70% of palestinians who believe that they are for a two-state solution but at the same time they have lost a lot of hope and a great majority of-- majority think nothing serious is going to happen. that's the terrible situation we're in. in the meantime, a terrible occupation persists in excess of 40-odd years. >> rose: but do you think the building of the settlements and the announced new settlements is helpful to the process? >> i do not. >> absolute not. i do not. >> rose: so why is bebe doing that? >> well, he's got a constituency he has to deal with-- let's be
candid about that. more than that, there are other things his government was preapped to do in terms of trying to get dialogue going, which was rebuffed by the palestinians. he's not opposed to -- >> rose: what kinds of things are you talking about? >> just to engage in serious negotiations with the palestinians, which is what's going to have to be done. it's going to have to be done privately. it will not be done before the colleague lights or people who will appear on the "charlie rose show" although it would benefit them if they did that, awns. >> rose: we could solve it right here. >> i think people have been waiting for a long time for netanyahu be "nixon goes to china" a long time. and i think after a while, exhaustion sets in, and not only on the israeli side. to ask the palestinians year after year after year to believe that nixon is going to go to china while settlements are being built, while the u.n. vote was responded to in the way it was, in a way that also infuriated the obama administration, really
infuriated the obama administration, and rightly so. >> rose: the fact that the palestinians went ahead to urge that vote. >> there was then economic punishment and the e-1 settlements were set into place. there's a real loss of hope. so the reverse of what dennis ross is talking about has happened. there's an increasingly hopelessness on both sides, even though we're not in the middle of some terrible intifada. >> it's a great paradox by the way. >> it is a great paradox. >> rose: some people say they might be--un, there may be the seeds of a third intifada developing. >> well, look, no one knows-- anyone who says it won't happen, it's the kind of thing you could light a match and spark is sent and it's triggered. i would say palestinians paid a terrible price for the second intifada and they have not recovered from it and they're anxious that something could still happen. the fact is both have that memory. the key right now is-- david put his fing or something i think is
quite important-- you know, it's not just that the-- that you've had a split among the palestinian. you have a palestinian authority that is weakening. the israelis, from their own strategic standpoint, has an interest in what is the future of the israeli going to be. the possibility of resolving this conflict becomes close to nil so israel has a stake in having the palestinian authority survive. israel has a stake that the movement is nationalist and not islamist. it needs to focus on what can it do to move in a direction that makes that more likely. >> rose: dennis, do you believe the israelis should negotiate with hamas? >> i do not. >> rose: under no circumstances? >> i'm not, i'm not eye don't believe that we should and the israelis should be dealing with hamas when they're not prepared to meet the minimal conditions that the p.l.o. met. if they're prepared to meet recognizing israeli, yes, you
deal with them. >> rose: if they renounce violence, that would be the key? >> well, renouncing violence and recognizing israeli's right to exist. those two. >> i bow to no one in my sense of-- my dismay and anger at what the hamas charter is. it's antisemitic. it's eliminationist and so on. but the history of diplomacy is filled with two sides negotiating at even greater odds than that. at even greater odds than that. and remember -- >> rose: the parties have come together even though-- >> not come together but certainly had negotiation negotiations and diplomatic contact -- >> rose: south africa and ireland? >> throughout history. and remember who the party in power is here. israel is immensely more powerful than hamas, immensely more powerful in its army-- diswhru are, therefore, suggesting what? >> david the minute you do what you're suggesting you basically
tell the palestinian nationalists will we think the future is the islamists. >> that's right. >> and the very people who actually are committed to a two-state outcome were saying we've given up on you and we're going for those who actually as an article of faith are against it. >> i agree, i agree completely. with dennis. what the israelis have to do is find a way in some way or another strengthen the p.l.o. >> and they've done nothing but the opposite. >> i'm not-- i'm not justifying everything they've done. this is an opportunity-- >> they've done nothing but weaken the palestinian authority and undermine the palestinian authority and the great opportunity is being lost. >> with all due respect, fayadd does not have the rule in the p.l.o., that we would like. the israelis have given them an enormous amount of money to keep their government going which they didn't have to do. they have done some things. all i'm saying here is the israelis have to support--
fyad's problems are with the p.l.o., not the israelis. the issue is to find ways to strength the p.homicide offend.. >> we are not talking about a relationship between two equally powerful european states. we are talking, to my great grief-- because i have enormous feeling for the purpose of israel-- is we are talking about a state that is occupied another. which is an imensely tragic thing and extraordinarily wearing to both says. this is undermining-- not only causing great palestinian searching, but it is undermining the state of israel. and if this occupation continues and continues, you will be further and further undermind, isolated, politically damaged, economically damaged. we've seen it already. when i talk to tel aviv liberals who are in business, who are
well to do and who inevitably have two passports, there's a limit to their patience. >> rose: and, therefore, their patience is reached and they've gone beyond that. what do they do? so what do they do? >> they're enormously patriotic but their children somehow end up in new york, and paris and london. they give up. >> i don't agree with that. maybe that's true of some of the cases. i know a lot of people who have come back to israel-- >> it's quiet now. there is a kind of eerie-- strange and eerie quiet but it's not going to last. >> i'm not saying it will last, but i do think-- go ahead. i'm sorry, demis. >> david, you're identifying one thing that is a simple reality. for israel's long-term well-being the idea that it maintains the occupation is not in its interest because not only the effect it has on the values but the demographic issue. the longer this goes on the greater the danger that in fact you lose a two-state outcome and in the end israel has to go back
to a unilateral withdrawal. so it is in israel's interest to find a way to go forward. it is in israel's electric as port was saying, to find a way to strengthen the palestinian authority. one the administration has to be engaged but i would build an engagement around an agenda that focuses on what steps do we take to demonstrate their commitment to a two-state outcome. so you begin to deal with this core problem of disbelief. and there are steps that could be taken. this is not about building confidence. that's trivial. what this is about is restoring faith and belief which is fundamental. >> rose: two points, camp david and what happened, one opportunity. two, when ehud primer. it is fair to say there have been opportunitied to move the
ball forward. >> i am not in the position and don't want to be in the position as the one saying the palestinian response to israeli initiative has been flawless. it has been anything but, anything but. and i know all the counter-arguments on both sides. barack wasn't intending to do this. and it wasn't a negotiation and time ran out blah, blah, blah. and that's the problem with this issue. those of us who are deeply involved in it can sing both songs on both sides. the fact of the matter is, if you don't try and try hard and campaign the-- keep moving forward, great tragedyalize ahead. great tragedyalize ahead. yadlin, who is no one's lefty and who is very involved in military intelligence in israel and i know both these develop, he said if only to prove to israelis and to the palestinians that we are interested in progress we must have
negotiations. we must move toward the negotiating table. nothing has been happening. for all the reasons that have been discussed at this table. away may disagree but i think we can agree that next to nothing has been happening. and great tragedy awaits. we haven't even discussed the region surrounding. one of the nations two and a half feet away from israel is jordan. jordan seems relatively stable. >> rose: increasing worries. >> on the far right you have people who see jordan as the real palestinian state. it allows them to entertain their own-- i wonder about in an arab spring atmosphere, how an hashmight king put in place many decades ago is going to fare, even in a democratic or islamist revolution or potential revolt. it's a tiny country and it all could happen very, very
quickly. >> rose: we all know these arguments will and you said and you said and dennis has been involved in this as well. is there a moment in this election that will change something about the dynamic. b, is there something else that can be added to it to increase the likelihood of changing the dynamic? >> well, i do think this will be another opportunity for israel to make another approach to the palestinians. it's not the first one, and i think they've done, as i said, very important things to hospital palestinians without getting a kind of reciprocal response. i do think they cannot give up as dennis was saying and david was saying. you just cannot give up. the israelis have got to do something and i think politically what this election shows is there is no at hard right majority. i think this is an opportunity, and the real question is what-- the problem sucan't do anything publicly that will get anywhere. so everything that happens, happens privately. and we'll see what happens. >> rose: shouldn't there be
some conversation, some dialogue, some effort, even though it doesn't look like there's a possibility of change or success, with hamas to try to get hamas in one way or the other more engaged and eliminate some of the differences between the p.l.o. and hamas? why is that not possible? >> because as dennis was saying before you will strengthen hamas and weaken the p.l.o. that's exactly what the reallies don't want to do. >> rose: in the end isn't that what will happen. >> israeli -- >> rose: dennis, go ahead. >> look, we do have two different realities right now, and you may have two parallel universes that ironically you may be able to deal with at the same time. on the one hand, what i would say is very important is for the united states to be involved in terms of trying to put together a resumptionion of negotiations. but as i said, i would build the effort around focusing on how you restore belief.
i'd still have a political basis for the no,s that were drawn from the president's speeches, but i would build an agenda around how do you restore belief so you actually can change the dynamic. i do think, by the way, with yair lapid, who focuses on this issue of two states and specifically is not losing the jewish majority in israel, he will actually have an interest in that and that may be part of his negotiating approach to forming a government. parallel to this you have this simple reality of the israeli dialogue with the egyptians, where the egyptians talk to hamas. egypt today, president morse has no interest in seeing the cease-fire in gaza collapse. hamas claimed they had a great achievement. the cease-fire collapses, they lose their achievement. they don't have an interest in it. the egyptians clearly don't want them to have an-- at this point, you have a dialogue between the israelis and egyptians to manage the cause within gaza.
maybe you run these two parallel aproaches because it creates an environment where you have a chance to see whether the negotiations between the israelis and the palestinian authority lead somewhere. and maybe that begins to change circumstance but i don't think you can do more than that. >> it does concern me to watch the inaugural address-- as excited i was as a good liberal. i thought it was one of the most liberal inaugural speeches since 1937, the second inaugural of f.d.r., but it was basically a domestic speech. if there's one thing i know about barack obama, having written a biography of him and having some contact with him, the one thing he is cop standpointly asking about when it comes to israeli politics is who is my constituency? in other words, if i am going to spend political capital-- which i have a limited amount of for the collected number of issues i have to deal with for a certain period of time-- who am i appealing to?
and that is something that came out ofeate election. it has to be a little more encouraging than it could have been. not enormously but under encouraging than if bennett had come in second or third and the likud list had triumphed. no question. >> it's a major-- look, the election -- >> rose: go ahead. >> it's a major change today compared to what you thought it was 48 hours ago. >> on the other hand-- >> and yair lapid is not sustainable change. >> i do think it's sustainable change. >> rose: it's not one election with one-- >> absolutely. looking, i don't think beebe is opposed to a transaction with the palestinians. i know that for sure. the question is does he have the political room to make that happen. i think he does. if he listens to dennis, he will make a huge amount of progress. >> i think that-- let's all bear in mind one thing-- the polls are saying bennett was going took maybe as my as 16 or 17 and he went 11.
and we have likud. that's a decline in the right. we've seen a re-emergence of the center. so the fact is there is a political space today to do something on the peace issue that there wasn't before this election. >> rose: go ahead. >> that is exactly the way i feel. this is an immense opportunity, properly handled. and we have to have somebody from this administration to be involved in it and to do it query questionly. who would that be. >> unfortunately, dennis probably now charges on the basis of an hour rate. >> we should also mention, though, what makes this so complicated-- by the way, bebe is still prime minister, likud is still the biggest party. this will be a very difficult negotiation to put together for the government. when you take a look at this, if bebe wanted to go for a purely secular government he would go governor lapid and bennett.
lapid will also require domestic policies and an approach on the peace issue that bennett can't tolerate. if on the other hand bebe wanted to go for something that would be lapid on the one hand, you would have the same contradiction but the difference of the religious versus the secular. it will be a very difficult negotiation to put together. in the end, he will succeed but those parties like lapid-- lapid has enormous leverage right now and i dont expect he's going to give it away fair sopg. >> rose: what should be the united states' position right now, what this shea be dag? first question. second question, we're getting a new secretary of state, does that change the dynamic at all because of john kerry and his involvement from the middle east, especially with the syrians and others. >> i would say-- look, i think the-- in kerry's case, he will have an interest, i think, in going ahead and trying to do
something. i think he has had an interest in the middle east for a long time and this issue for a long time. i think he is prepared to engage himself nay very thorough way on this issue. >> i agree with that. >> look, we can't interfere in terms of the negotiating process of the formation of the israeli government, but i think quietly our message ought to be the broadest based government is the from the israel's issue. you have the issue of iran. that issue is going to come to a head some time this year. you have the issue of the arab awakening. you have the issue of what's happening in syria and the you have the peace issue. all of those are huge issues when it relates to israel and all argue for something that charon used to talk about. when where will has big decisions to make it should have the widest base for a government. >> rose: thank you dennis. thank you david, thank you, port. ;q